Leaders and their teams often pride themselves on their ability to deal with an onslaught of decisions. But the reality is they often end up making rapid-fire calls on issues big and small and wasting their time. They and their organizations would be better served by an approach that treats decisions as a deliberately structured workstream.

In their article appearing online in Harvard Business Review,A 4-Step Process to Help Senior Teams Prioritize Decisions,” SDG authors Peter Hopper and Jugnu Sakuja describe a repeatable process for prioritizing decisions and determining the right methodology for each.

They explore the “culture of firefighting” at a footwear manufacturer that caused decision makers to treat decisions in isolation, often in response to day-to-day developments in the business. And because teams were unsure of who owned what decisions, they often kicked decisions upstairs, further taxing senior management. Recognizing that ensuring high-quality decisions would require a disciplined process, the executive team embarked on an exercise to create a decision agenda, helping senior management understanding where to focus and when.

View the complete article on HBR’s website.